General Dental Informtion

How To Prevent Tooth Decay

برش عرضی دندان با مسواک و خمیر دندان

Don’t wait for a toothache to come to you and then, begin to take care of your teeth! You should avoid tooth decay through following oral, dental sanitary tips, instructions, and by regular dental check-ups. Prevention of tooth decay is something you can do to make sure of your teeth health. Are you sure that you have done everything you need to prevent cavities in your teeth?

Diagnosis of Tooth Decay

What initiates the dental decay process, is the commensal bacteria in your mouth. They feed on leftover food particles in your mouth in order to be able to produce acids. About twenty minutes after finishing your meal, the combination of bacteria, leftover foods, acid and saliva produces a substance, known as “Plaque”, on your teeth. The tooth decay process will then be started, if the plaques aren’t removed immediately. The plaques will convert into something called tartar over time, which is more difficult to disappear. Over time, these plaques, and tartars will lead to gum diseases.

Plaques don’t only cause gum diseases, they affect the enamel protecting teeth. Which in turn, causes the formation of dental cavities. At their starting stages, the cavities are painless. However, if they are left alone, these cavities become larger, and bring about problems. Commonly, the chewing surface of molar teeth, and inter-dental surfaces are more susceptible to tooth decay.

Methods To Prevent Tooth Decay

It should be noted that preventing tooth decay with the following methods is immensely better, and much easier than its treatment. There are a variety of different methods to prevent tooth decay. Each specific one helps you to minimize the potential of losing your teeth through tooth decay. The most important of them are as follows:

1- Brushing and Flossing

The best thing you can do to protect your teeth is observing the oral and dental sanitary tips. Also, flossing and brushing regularly are very effective in prevention of accumulation of bacteria and as a result of tooth decay. Please keep in mind that both the type of toothbrush and the correct manner of brushing are important in preventing tooth decay. First, you have to choose the proper toothbrush for your teeth after consulting with your dentist. However, you should not forget that even the best toothbrushes have a limited lifetime and must be replaced preferably every three months. The toothbrush which has lost its bristles does not clean teeth anymore and even it may hurt the gums. Moreover, even if you have an appropriate toothbrush, but you don’t know how to brush your teeth correctly, you may not reach a good result. Sometimes, only brushing once in a day, but in a correct and standard manner, is more effective than brushing three times a day but in the wrong manner. Moreover, besides brushing you have to use dental floss. Flossing can complete the work of brushing and can guarantee your dental and oral hygiene. If you patiently spend 10 to 15 minutes a day brushing your teeth in a correct and standard way and also use dental flossing, then you can reduce the potential of tooth decay considerably, so you will have healthy and clean teeth without decay.

a girl with toothbrush

2- Using Fluoride and Antibacterial Mouthwash

Fluoride is an effective booster in strengthening the enamel of teeth. This technique is done using toothpastes containing fluoride and mouthwashes. It can restore the enamel of a tooth, even when there is a tiny and superficial cavity. Antibacterial mouthwashes can be very effective in the removal of detrimental bacteria and consequently preventing tooth decay. However, it is better to visit a dentist and ask them about the antibacterial mouthwashes, which are used to remove detrimental bacteria and prevent tooth decay.

mouthwash and toothbrush and dental floss

Mouthwash, toothbrush, and dental floss

3- Using Fissure Sealants

Dental fissure sealants actually are a protective and white or clear layer, which are placed over the molar teeth. Sealant is a narrow coverage which covers the fissures across the teeth surface and in this way it makes all of those places disappear where foodstuff and bacteria tend to accumulate. Placement of fissure sealant by a dentist is quick and painless. Using fissure sealants can be a proper method to prevent tooth decay, but it cannot be a proper alternative for brushing, flossing and having a healthy diet.

a tooth with sealant

Tooth with Fissure Sealants

4- Regular Dentistry Examinations

The first step to control oral and dental health is to know to what extent the tooth decay has progressed. The best way to prevent tooth decay and formation of cavities is getting regular dental examinations. Regular dental examinations and talking to your dentist will help you to know which condition you are in and which medical method would be necessary for you. When you are informed about your tooth decay condition, you can follow a special and more effective approach to guarantee your dental and oral health.

The less your tooth decay is, the less you need to visit a dentist. During a regular dental examination, try to ask your dentist to explain to you in which condition your teeth are and ask them to guide you towards having better teeth.

dentist doing checkup for a woman

5- Following Proper Food Diets and Habits

Having a tooth-friendly diet is very important in all aspects of health including dental and oral hygiene. Foods like potato chips or sweets which tend to stick into our teeth for a longer time usually increase the chance of tooth decay development. Moreover, processed foods or sweet foods also are not good options for eating. Instead, you can choose fresh vegetables and fruits, because they increase the saliva current and reabsorb the minerals to the enamel of teeth. Generally, proper nourishment and useful foods can improve the general health level of the body including the health of our teeth. Along with the foodstuff or diets, some improper nutritional habits can enhance the potential of tooth decay or even tooth breakage. Breaking hard things with teeth or using very hot or very cold foods regularly are among these bad habits.

organic broccoli tomato cucumbers carrot

Consuming vegetables and organic food is essential for healthy teeth

6- Dental Scaling

Removing dental plaques and germs, which are proper places for the growth of bacteria, can considerably decrease the chance of tooth decay. Therefore, professional cleaning of teeth through the dental scaling process by a specialized dentist twice a year is highly recommended.

dentist doing scaling for a woman

Dentist doing scaling for a woman

7- Quit Smoking

Everybody knows about the disadvantages and different risks of smoking. However, most people do not know anything about the damages of smoking against the mouth, gums, and teeth. Such unhealthy habits also would result in losing teeth and even mouth cancer. Quitting smoking is a way recommended to prevent tooth decay. Thus, if you are worried about your tooth decay, please avoid smoking. For people who still are smoking or are spending the period of quitting, dental scaling every three months once is recommended.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay FAQ

1-What can I do to prevent the progression of my tooth decay?

Brush your teeth with toothpastes containing fluoride. Wash your mouth frequently. Visit your dentist and ask them to examine your teeth two times a year. Limit eating frequent snacks. Consume proper foods and use antibacterial mouthwash. Get your teeth scaled two times a year.

2-What foods prevent tooth decay?

To avoid tooth decay, consumption of fresh fruits, and vegetables may help. Specifically, containing fibers such as: carrots, apples. Another food group that can help is dairy products. Other methods to prevent tooth decay include:, sugarless chewing gums, drinking a lot of water, using toothpaste, mouthwash containing fluoride are recommended, and while using sticky sweet materials and confectionaries is not recommended.

3-How can we prevent tooth decay in children?

Try your absolute best to keep your kid’s teeth clean since their childhood. Visit a dentist, if you ever spot a blot, stain, or any sort of color change on your kid’s baby teeth. You can take advantage of a finger toothbrush for toddlers and brush them. In older ages, using doll or musical toothbrushes would help you to encourage your kid to keep brushing their mouth regularly. Another method is to use games, and childish tricks to teach your kid how to brush their teeth correctly.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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